Letters for August 2, 2007

Reader on Council
Re “One small victory” (Letters to the editor, July 26):

We have lived in the Tahoe area 35 years and are witness to the fact that shelter for the homeless in the Reno area has a long history. State government even recently defeated a bill that would have alleviated the problem, maintaining its blind-eye policy and in disregard of the escalating population of unemployed and/or homeless. The Reno City Council is to be commended for its $12.1 million award for a much-needed family shelter to accommodate the less fortunate. Hopefully, we will see local government enabled, with the aid of organizations and state agencies cooperation, to implement the plan in a timely manner. A very big thank you to Reno City Council.

Corrine Parsell

Obama on health
I’m a 17-year-old student deeply interested in politics and disgusted with the current state of medical insurance provided to everyday people. The increasing rates of health care assistance and sub-par quality of care have had a major hindrance on the financial status of families in the United States for many years. The fact is some families can’t afford the excessive premiums and go without insurance. Forty-five million adults and 9 million children are examples of this enormous problem. These high costs have put a strain on my family, especially my mother who at one point had to pay $150 a week in insurance premiums.

Barack Obama, however, has a plan to challenge the inequity faced by Americans. With plans such as guaranteed eligibility for anyone that applies, affordable co-pays, employer contribution, mandatory coverage of children, even reforming medical malpractice. These few points are all created to make healthcare accessible to everyone. My co-worker recently suffered a hernia outside of the job and daily has to endure tremendous pain. He does not have coverage, and he’s indecisive about going to the hospital for fear of having a bill that he knows he will not be able to pay. So for me, these initiatives are important because the effects on my family and friends would be life changing.

Obama’s proposals shed a light of promise and change to an issue that has not been carefully planned out. It makes me hopeful for the future of healthcare in the United States.

Charlene Martinez

Ensign on crack
Recently, John Ensign was one of four Senators who voted against a bipartisan effort to expand health insurance coverage for hundreds of thousands of children of the working poor. The State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) is a proven federal-state effort. Funded by tobacco taxes, it will cost less over the next five years than we’ll spend in Iraq in the next four months.

Nevada is in the top five states for the percentage of uninsured. President Bush recently said access to health care for the uninsured is no problem: “You just go to the emergency room.” Clearly, Senator Ensign is more concerned about echoing White House talking points than serving Nevada’s kids.

I am appalled at Sen. Ensign’s moral failing in refusing to care about the least among us for the sake of pandering to an extremist base. But I am heartened that he represents a tiny minority of opinion. A Georgetown University poll found that 9 in 10 Americans of both parties support an expansion of the children’s health insurance program.

President Bush should not veto this common sense approach to health care coverage. And Sen. Ensign should be ashamed for using his first weeks on Senate Finance to harm—not to help—Nevada’s most vulnerable children.

Bob Fulkerson

Barbarians on the gates
After the Gulf War, when the United States put a stranglehold on Iraq, calling it the “No Fly Zone,” General Tommy Franks’ flyboys strafed and bombed and killed about 1,400 Iraqi citizens, including children playing soccer, which was reported on the second page of the local newspaper.

During those 12 years, the United States-led sanctions committee also denied Iraq the tools and machinery to rebuild their infrastructure including water treatment plants and sewage plants. When the children began dying from terrible diseases such as leukemia, the sanction committee denied them medicine and food and such essentials as regulators for the oxygen bottles. Can anyone figure out why the sanction committee would intentionally kill 1 million children with the international community, including the United Nations, begging three United States presidents to ease the sanctions? One does not have to look very hard to find reasons. The Skull and Bones society at Yale University and another called Book and Snake are two starting places. The elites of these societies call anyone outside of their realm barbarians, just as the U.S. military called the American Indian savages.

Dan Williams
via e-mail

Re “Short, but sweet,” (Cover, July 26)

We misspelled the name of Charles Schleeweis, one of the runners-up in RN&R’s 95-word-fiction contest. We apologize for any misunderstandings causedby our error. This has been corrected on the Web site.